Easter weekend traditions return in New Orleans: See lineup of parades, Easter egg hunts, other events

NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - Easter weekend promises the return of several New Orleans traditions and major events for the first time since the pandemic.

For the first time in two years, the Caesars Sportsbook Crescent City Classic returns on Saturday as an in-person event. The race is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at the Caesars Superdome on Saturday.

“The excitement throughout the city has been incredible,” race director Eric Stuart said.

Race with a purpose: Crescent City Classic returns for annual Easter weekend tradition on April 20

For its 44th year, the historic 10k race ushers in a new era. In January, race officials announced Caesars Sportsbook took over as title sponsor for the Crescent City Classic after a new sponsorship agreement with Caesars Entertainment and a new partnership with Gayle Benson’s management team.

Another big change this year: Race officials were forced to tweak the race course because of ongoing construction in the downtown corridor near Harrah’s Casino. With the new route, runners will turn left on South Peters Street before Harrah’s Casino to avoid the area.

Race officials say runners will make up the extra nearly half-mile detour at the end of the course by running further down City Park Avenue to Marconi Drive before the final stretch of the race. The race will still end in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park, as in previous years.

The French Quarter also gets hopping again with three parades rolling to celebrate Easter Sunday.

New Orleans’ oldest Easter parade, the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade, rolls through the streets of the French Quarter starting at 9:45 a.m. on Easter Sunday.

Now in its 66th year, the parade features ladies in horse-drawn carriages and convertibles sporting their finest Easter bonnets and passing out plush stuffed bunnies, candy and other throws.

According to a map on the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade Facebook page, the parade starts on St. Louis Street toward Dauphine Street, turns left and travels to Iberville Street. The parade turns left on Iberville and heads to Bourbon Street. Then, the parade turns right on Toulouse Street, right on Royal Street, left on Iberville Street and left on Chartres Street. After that, the parade stops at St. Louis Cathedral for mass at 11 a.m. before returning to the starting point.

The 37th annual Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade rolls on Sunday at 1 p.m. This year, the parade honors the memory of the “Queen of Bourbon Street”, who died on April 5.

According to the website, the parade will begin at the corner of St. Louis and Royal Streets in front of Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, continue down Royal to Bienville, then turn on Bourbon to St. Phillip Street, and conclude on St. Louis and Royal at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel.

Following the parade, revelers can enjoy a Champagne Brunch and dancing. The parade will be complete with colorful floats, marching bands, beads, Easter trinkets, and plenty of eager revelers.

The Gay Easter Parade also rolls through the French Quarter on Easter Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Founded in 2000, the parade features creative costumes, marching groups and convertibles. The parade also supports local charities.

The parade starts on Rampart Street at Armstrong Park and ends at Burgundy and St. Peter Streets.

Other Easter events are also scheduled to take place this weekend.

New Orleans City Park announces the return of Bunny Hops, the adults-only Easter egg hunt, on April 16. Bunny Hops returns to Carousel Gardens Amusement Park for the first time since its inaugural year in 2019. The event runs from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., but the egg hunt starts at 8 p.m. sharp. Guests must be 21 years old or older to attend this event.

In Metairie, the Dawn Busters Kiwanis Club will be hosting the First Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Lafreniere Park from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Easter egg hunts will be held at 2:45 p.m. and 3:50 p.m., and will be divided into three fields by the following age groups: 0-3, 4-6 and 7-10. Admission is $10 per child and open to children ages 10 and under.

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey

Shan Bailey is the digital content producer and on-air personality for FOX 8 Nola Weekend. Shan is a creative storyteller who is passionate about creating compelling content that connects with audiences.